mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
Need to read old handwriting? Check out BYU's "Script Tutorial", . " The tutorials and​ materials gathe​red here are meant to help a varie​ty of people – students, researchers, historians, genealogists, and indexers – learn more about old scripts and how to make use of that knowle​dge to analyze and int​erpret the past. The concentration is on western European scripts, particularly those in use between 1500 and 1800. "

I found it when Googling; I dimly remembered that Germans wrote the number "1" in an unusual way. Here's where I wound up:

Not only does it describe what the number looks like, it has an animation of the number being written.

God, I love living in the future.


Jan. 16th, 2017 09:22 am
mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
Called my awesome Rep, Jackie Speier, to request she stand with John Lewis and boycott the Inauguration. It's a Federal holiday (Martin Luther King Day), so the office is closed. This is not surprising. What is surprising is that at 12:20 Washington time, the voicemail box is already full.
mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
Those "pussy hats" are unbelievably hideous and completely unsuitable for donation to charity, or for any use.
mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
(warning: this is personal in the extreme.)

After the election, I've seen a lot of hand-wringing about how the urban elites just don't understand rural America -- often, regrettably, phrased as "the real America", buttressed by zillions of interviews with small-town Trump voters expressing their rage and frustration with the people in the cities, especially the coastal cities.

Some of this is by conservative elites wanting to punish liberals; others are by earnest liberals wanting to know Where We Went Wrong.

Here's the thing. A lot of us city people got there after growing up rural. A lot of us know quite well what small-town and rural life is, and we rejected it. A lot of rural communities are hollowed out because the kids don't stay. Sometimes it's no jobs; other times it's "how you gonna keep 'em down on the farm."

Four out of five Americans live in urbanized areas. 80% of us. That sounds pretty damn real to me.

The urban elite reporters ought to be doing a few stories about "I interviewed N people in a working-class neighborhood of a city, and here's what they had to say about how they voted." That's just as representative of "ordinary Americans" as the people in a hollowed-out coal town.
mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
I asked for Gérôme's painting, Suites d'un bal masqué (Duel after a Masquerade). Take a second and look at it. Isn't that a gorgeous painting? Not just the implied story, but the masterful use of color.

I got an excellent short story divided into splinters, with each of the various witnesses preoccupied with their own concerns. The characterization of the witnesses is wonderful: each of them leaps off the page. This is a pictorial work, so the author created all those characters from scratch. The period detail is amazing, and the way that the final witness, resentfully, tells his own story wraps the splinters back together. And there are footnotes! My Yuletide has footnotes for further reading! SQUEEEEEE.

L'Abécédaire d'un duel

I also got a Madness drabble, a perfect pendant to the painting, that takes one telling detail and uses it as commentary.

Happy Yuletide to me, and to all of you!

mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
I have a migraine so severe that I can't concentrate well enough to read my delicious Yuletide gift. Bah, humbug.
mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
pity this busy monster, manunkind,

not. Progress is a comfortable disease:
your victim (death and life safely beyond)

plays with the bigness of his littleness
--- electrons deify one razorblade
into a mountainrange; lenses extend
unwish through curving wherewhen till unwish
returns on its unself.
    A world of made
is not a world of born --- pity poor flesh

and trees, poor stars and stones, but never this
fine specimen of hypermagical

ultraomnipotence. We doctors know

a hopeless case if --- listen: there's a hell
of a good universe next door; let's go
mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
 Pebble just announced that they'd been bought by Fitbit.  Fitbit is taking the software people and the intellectual property, firing everybody else, and shutting down manufacturing and warranty immediately.   This sort of thing happens in Silicon Valley.

What is unusual is the cheerful way Pebble chose to announce all this.   Note in particular this image:
Cheerful engineers waving signs

We'll never deliver the products you Kickstarted, the products you bought are dead on your wrist, but hey, at least the engineers are having fun joking about it!

P.S.  Guy on the left:  get a fedora that fits.


Dec. 5th, 2016 08:46 am
mme_hardy: White rose (Default) is trying to get people to knit 1.17 million "pussyhats" for women attending the Women's March on Washington, D.C.   Whatever floats your boat.

However, in a move typical of modern knitting media, the pattern's featured yarn is Malabrigo Worsted, which sells for $11-12 bucks a 110-yard skein, enough to make one hat.  Admittedly, they say that you don't have to use Malabrigo, that any worsted would do, but the fact that whoever came up with this thought it was sensible to recommend a boutique yarn, rather than, say, Lion Brand Wool-Ease, a poly-wool blend that retails for $4 bucks and has 197 yards per skein, tells you a lot.

Anyway, if I knitted for charity (I'm a slow knitter and don't), I think I'd rather be doing cancer-patient hats, or something less symbolic and more necessary.
mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
The San Francisco Chronicle does some good old-fashioned shoeleather reporting. 

Over the last decade, filings to the Internal Revenue Service reveal the nonprofit [Helpers Community Inc. — known until 2015 as Helpers of the Mentally Retarded] has done little charitable work while amassing millions of dollars in assets and donations and generously compensating [Joy] Bianchi, whose work includes attending red-carpet galas from Beverly Hills to Manhattan where she appears alongside celebrities such as Demi Moore, Gwyneth Paltrow and Katy Perry.
Helpers’ mission statement defines its “most pressing and important goal” as supporting quality residential care for the developmentally disabled. But in the past 13 years, the charity has given nothing to residential programs. And for a six-year period from 2003 to 2008, Helpers gave nothing at all to any charitable cause, according to financial records.
Bianchi, meanwhile, has been paid far above the norm for directors of charities. With base compensation of $193,828 in 2015, Bianchi earned roughly $100,000 more than the CEOs of about two dozen similarly sized San Francisco human service nonprofits tracked by Charity Navigator, a leading national watchdog group. Bianchi earned an additional $29,074 in retirement and other deferred compensation that year.
What did Helpers do, back when it did anything?  I am not making this up.

Bianchi volunteered for Helpers as a teen in the 1950s, eventually joining the organization in the 1960s just as it opened its first residential care home. For roughly 40 years, money raised by the organization helped fund its group homes, which boasted lush drapery, crystal chandeliers and needlepoint-covered chairs. Helpers cared for a total of 33 residents, offering them craft-making workshops and lessons in etiquette and fine dining.
mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
Me: Inside Llewyn Davies
Him: Long Black Veil
Him: John McCutcheon, "Kindergarten Wall" ("Of all that you learn here remember this the best: Don't hurt each other and clean up your mess")
Him: Leonard Cohen, "Everybody Knows"

Daughter: "The emotional whiplash over here is killing me."

Pumpkin, pecan pies done; rolls rising; wax beans snapped and blanched; turkey broth simmering; turkey salted and herbed; garlic dressing made. These tasks are distributed among the family, so I'm hoping nobody will be too exhausted to enjoy dinner.

To go: bake rolls, turkey; mash potatoes; warm wax beans in butter; toss salad. DEVOUR.

Happy Thanksgiving to those of you who celebrate, and if you're looking for something global to be thankful for, Colombia and the FARC rebels have signed a peace treaty. This one doesn't have to be affirmed by referendum.
mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
Believe me, I get it. But it's not as easy as just "moving to [insert country name]". Other countries have immigration laws, too, and you may not qualify, especially if you don't have STEM or medical qualifications.

Unless US expatriates are categorized as refugees (highly unlikely) you'll need to apply to the new country, and that process can take months to years.

If you think you'll need to go, get all the paperwork you'll need to file now, and realize that you'll be competing with thousands (at least) of other Americans who have decided to move on. We won't be any more welcome in other countries than we make their citizens. (Hint: not.)

And a side note for transpeople: Currently under Obama's policies you can get a passport showing your correct gender with a physician's statement saying 'you've had appropriate clinical treatment', and there's no requirement to have bottom surgery. This policy will almost certainly be reversed by the Trump administration, so apply for your passport now to get legal documentation of your gender. Many states require bottom surgery.

e: Recessional has an invaluable comment about Canadian immigration.
mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
It turns out Leonard Cohen actually died Monday, and the family kept it quiet until Thursday, presumably to mourn in private. That means he didn't have to deal with the election results. (Source: an interview with his biographer in the SF Chronicle.)

I read in the morning paper that Trump wants to ally with Russia and Assad to end the Syrian civil war, leaving Assad in power.
mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
New York Times article about an Indian entrepeneur who invented a cheaper way to make sanitary pads. The uplifting part is that he then focused on making the machine as cheap as possible so that cheap sanitary pads would spread through India; they are also spreading through other countries.
mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
Pink Floyd is not at its best when monaural. (C/o Alexa, a.k.a. Amazon Echo)
mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
Cora Pearl and Achille Murat on horseback

This is famed courtesan Cora Pearl and Prince Achille Murat in an 1865 posed studio photograph. You will notice that Prince Achille's legs are nearly straight, and stretched forward of the saddle. Is this a French thing, or was it the proper seat all over Europe? And when did it change, do you know?

mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
 After great pain, a formal feeling comes – 
The Nerves sit ceremonious, like Tombs – 
The stiff Heart questions ‘was it He, that bore,’ 
And ‘Yesterday, or Centuries before’? 
The Feet, mechanical, go round – 
A Wooden way 
Of Ground, or Air, or Ought – 
Regardless grown, 
A Quartz contentment, like a stone – 
This is the Hour of Lead – 
Remembered, if outlived, 
As Freezing persons, recollect the Snow – 
First – Chill – then Stupor – then the letting go –
mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
Yes, Dan'l Webster's dead — or, at least, they buried him. But every time there's a thunderstorm around Marshfield, they say you can hear his rolling voice in the hollows of the sky. And they say that if you go to his grave and speak loud and clear, "Dan'l Webster — Dan'l Webster!" the ground'll begin to shiver and the trees begin to shake. And after a while you'll hear a deep voice saying, "Neighbor, how stands the Union?" Then you better answer the Union stands as she stood, rock-bottomed and copper-sheathed, one and indivisible, or he's liable to rear right out of the ground. At least, that's what I was told when I was a youngster.


mme_hardy: White rose (Default)

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